The 2025 Cadillac Optiq Electric SUV Offers Great Optics, No Illusion

Tran Hanh
June 04, 2024

This new entry-level, all-electric luxury SUV boasts cool materials, an extensive color palette, and segment-exclusive Super Cruise.

We first set eyes on the all-new Cadillac Optiq last November, but that was merely a largely fact-free looky-loo. We’ve now received the facts that verify our assumption that the Optiq is closely related to its Ultium-platform-mate, the Chevrolet Equinox EV. The compact Caddy shares its 116.3-inch wheelbase and adopts that model’s (and the Blazer EV’s) optional front permanent-magnet/rear AC-induction-type electric-all-wheel-drive powertrain. But most of the specs wiggle slightly, and the design inside and out is 100 percent Cadillac. From what we’ve seen of the Optiq thus far, those differences will do much to sell the likely $10K price premium over an equivalent Equinox EV as a bargain.

The Optiq will serve—for the time being, at least—as the entry point to what will eventually be Cadillac’s four-model all-electric SUV lineup (Optiq, Lyriq, Vistiq, and Escalade IQ). It enters the Cadillac fold sized and priced well above the XT4 and approaching the dimensions of the XT5 but on a 3.3-inch-longer wheelbase that—along with the compact electric powertrain—boosts interior space. It’ll also show up in the Cadillac showroom as at least $4K fancier than an XT5.

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Optiq Power and Performance

Cadillac is launching the 2025 Optiq in a single specification at first, with an 89.4-kWh battery good for an estimated 300 miles of range and capable of adding 70 miles in 10 minutes of 800-volt DC fast charging. The two-motor system makes 288 hp and 333 lb-ft combined (as in the Chevrolet Blazer EV), with the front permanent-magnet machine generating roughly two-thirds of that output. No explanation was offered as to the torque deficit relative to the Equinox and Chinese-market Optiq (346 and 343 lb-ft), nor did Cadillac confirm introduction of a two-wheel-drive (hopefully RWD) model, but it seems inevitable.

In a 5,250-pound package, that powertrain is said to be good for a 5.9-second dash to 60 mph, which is slightly slower than its closest electric competitors, the Audi Q4 E-Tron and Mercedes EQB-Class, and a lot slower than the pricier and more powerful Genesis GV70 Electric. But all of these are smaller inside, and from what we’ve seen so far, only the Genesis truly rivals the Optiq for luxury. As is the case with its Cadillac siblings, one-pedal driving will be supported, as will paddle-actuated regen on demand.

The Optiq’s chassis employs frequency-selective Passive-Plus premium dampers like those on the Lyriq, but here they’re tuned to work with new dual-compound all-season tires to provide sharper handling dynamics. That footwear combines stiffer sidewalls with a slightly more pliant (grippy) tread area, preserving competitive rolling resistance while generating better lateral grip. And the puncture-repairing sealant inside dampens noise and improves ride (there is no spare). Also helping the Optiq’s dynamics is its chassis, which Cadillac says achieves a torsional rigidity of 40 kNm/deg, which matches that of a Rolls-Royce Phantom VII or W222 S-Class.

Mid-Century Mod

Cadillac styling has been leaning into a mid-century-modern aesthetic in recent years, with elements like its 2021 logo redesign heavily informed by the work of Dutch painter and theoretician Piet Mondrian, who believed “horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition … can become a work of art.” Cadillac applies Mondrian-inspired linework around the vehicle, perhaps most noticeably on the C-pillar sail-panel window, where the lines are laminated in between layers of glass where they can never be scratched. These lines align with those in the D-pillar parking lamp lenses. Perhaps the classiest application of the Mondrian line work is in the seat upholstery perforation and stitching patterns, one of which is called Piet (others are Mantra and Carrington Falls).

Other interior material innovations include a cloth entirely woven of fibers made from recycled PET plastic that covers the dash and doors. When coated with a high-gloss polyurethane resin, it also serves as the console and door trim, looking a bit like carbon fiber. Then there’s Paper Wood Deco 1—a super cool substance made by stacking thin curved layers of dark “cathedral wood” with newspapers, then milling laminate from these stacks, such that you can see newsprint in the white “graining.” Another soft-touch recycled material called “Tide” lines all the stowage bins. These materials are available in different hues to set off four interior colorways, including a terracotta-like Autumn Canyon, Phantom Blue, black and gray, and all black. Add eight exterior paint colors that can be applied to the Sport or Luxury exterior design themes (the former getting an all-black roof) and four wheel designs to the mix, and Cadillac offers more customization than most of its competitors.

This-Century Mod

Nothing says 2025 quite like a standard 33-inch curved 9K-resolution screen capable of reproducing a billion colors. It’s also a sign of coming times that the Optiq won’t support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The spectacular-sounding standard AKG 19-speaker Dolby Atmos sound system can’t strut its stuff playing low-quality streamed audio from a tethered phone, and the Ultifi electronic architecture can’t integrate its robust EV-charging strategy into a phone-based nav system. (And this way, Apple and Android aren’t running interference when trying to access customer info.) In their place will be alternative screen mirroring apps and full Google infotainment integration. Also standard: Super Cruise with three years of service and all the latest active and passive safety gear. 

The Value Proposition

We’re told pricing for the 2025 Cadillac Optiq will start at around $54,000, which generally aligns with Q4 E-Tron and EQB. But with battery and vehicle production both sourced in North America, we expect most buyers will qualify for the full $7,500 federal tax credit, which would drop its cost to below the average transaction price of all new vehicles (does that make it “affordable?”). That would bring it roughly into price parity with an entry-level 2.0-liter turbo XT5 AWD, which only comes with a black interior and doesn’t offer Super Cruise. It’s also a more than reasonable upgrade from an AWD Equinox EV with Super Cruise. Make ours Monarch Orange over Phantom Blue. Go, Illini/Auburn/Boise State!

2025 Cadillac Optiq Specifications
BASE PRICE$54,000 (est) 
LAYOUTFront/rear-motor, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
MOTORS200-hp/222-lb-ft (est) AC permanent-magnet (front), 100-hp/111-lb-ft (est) AC induction (rear); 288-hp/333-lb-ft (combined), electric
CURB WEIGHT5,250 lb (mfr) 
L x W x H188.0 x 75.4 x 63.4 in
0–60 MPH5.9 sec (mfr est) 
EPA RANGE, COMB300 miles (est)
Review : 4.6/2
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